A HUDDERSFIELD estate agent responsible for selling holiday homes today insisted: Investing in India is a sound idea.
Steve Wood, who runs Goa Property Sales, hit out at “misleading” claims that the property market on the sub-continent was in danger of collapse.
An investigation by the BBC suggested that Britons who had bought homes in the tropical paradise of Goa could see their houses confiscated.
But Mr Wood – who has run his Meltham-based agency since 2000 – is adamant that the problem is being exaggerated.
“There are always risks in investing in any part of the world, and India is no different.
“I have investments worth more than £1m in India and I am still investing there. I started buying property in Goa in 2004 and the latest report is simply scaremongering.
“I have more than 480 clients who have invested in Goa and none of those have come to me with any proof that their property is about to be confiscated. I challenged the BBC people to come up with evidence and they could not do that”.
There are claims that the Goan government have acted to stop land and property being snapped up completely by foreign investors, but Mr Wood insists the biggest concern is the sell-off of large tracts of land to foreign investors rather than individual home-owners.
“There are legal rules for buying land in Goa and if people follow the advice correctly there is nothing to worry about.
“I still believe India is a great place to invest. People will still be able to buy property in Goa, providing they follow the guidelines”.
However, the BBC report included comments from a British ex-pat who had spent a lot of time researching the local property laws and talking to people who had already bought in Goa.
She engaged two solicitors before buying her apartment in Candolim in the heart of the British ex-pat belt on Goa’s north coast but, despite this, the couple still does not have the deeds to their property.
She said: “I don’t think there’s much more we could have done. The Goan government have changed the law and made it impossible for us to register our deeds. If you go to the registrar’s office they just say no you’re a foreigner, go away.”